Teamwork, Innovation and Formula 1™

Teamwork, Innovation and Formula 1™

Pulling off the perfect pit stop requires remarkable teamwork and communication, as split second decisions can make or break a race.

A similar demand is placed on medical teams who have to perform complex tasks under pressure when transferring patients from theatre to intensive care. Even minor delays during the handover process can seriously affect patient recovery. ”

I read these words as part of a Formula 1™ exhibition in London and was fascinated to discover that doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital worked with Formula 1™ experts to study their teamwork techniques and apply the findings to their own hospital in a highly innovative way.


Innovation in action

Observing a practice in one industry and applying the learning to another is a simple innovation technique that can yield excellent results. What the doctors discovered, when observing the pit stop crew, was the value of process mapping, a process description, and the importance of working out what people’s tasks are. They also identified 4 keys to a successful pit stop:

1. Routine: The routine in the pit stop is known and taken seriously

2. Predictability: The pit stop routine and what is likely to happen is predictable so they can anticipate problems and standardise procedures accordingly

3. Practice: The pit stop crew practices those procedures until it can perform them perfectly

4. Job & leader clarity: Everyone knows their job and one person is always in charge

All of this has resulted in a streamlining of process, a reduction in errors and ultimately, safer hospital conditions. Where children’s lives are concerned, that can only be a good thing.

Whatever your business, there are 2 questions you can ask yourself right now to promote innovation:

How can I apply the 4 keys to a successful pit stop to my team or my business?

What observations can I make about another industry’s practices and apply the learning to my own business?

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